Thursday, August 16, 2007

Obama says Bush not solely to blame

By AMY LORENTZEN
Associated Press
Wed Aug 15, 2007

Not all the nation's ills can be blamed on President Bush, Democratic candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday as he called on Americans to change the nature of politics and institute more openness in government.

"Part of the problem here is not just George Bush and the White House," Obama told a crowd of hundreds gathered at a park in Cedar Falls. "We can't just change political parties and continue to do the same kind of things we've been doing. We can't just go about business as usual and think it's going to turn out differently."

Obama, a senator from Illinois, said average Americans must be brought back to the table when dealing with every issue, from health care to education to trade.

"We've got to make sure workers are represented, not just CEOs. We've got to make sure patients are represented and the nurses are represented, not just drug companies," he said.

To make the government more accountable, Obama said he would post all non-emergency bills online for five days before he signed them into law, allowing Americans a chance to weigh in on the legislation. In addition, he said he would post all meetings between lobbyists and government agencies online.

Obama said he would require Cabinet officials to speak to Americans via national broadband town-hall style meetings to discuss issues at their agencies. He also pledged to issue an executive order that information about the government's operations must be released to those seeking it unless it could harm a protected interest.

Obama cited his record of backing ethics and lobbying reforms, including co-authoring a bill that requires all government spending to be posted online — allowing anyone to do a simple Internet search and find that information. He said that during his time as a state lawmaker he helped to create hospital report cards so that patients could understand the quality of care offered at each hospital.

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On the Net:

Obama '08: http://www.barackobama.com

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